I’m looking to integrate a fibre optic cable instead of using copper. My current config uses an Arduino Mega connected to an ethernet shield to an ethernet switch and a copper to fibre converter.
I’m interested in a similar configuration to the image below however, I don’t want to use the Fathom-X. Is this possible?
Hi @grantdutoit, welcome to the forum
Yes, that should be fine, the ethernet switch is general purpose.
That diagram is intended to show what kind of things people might want to connect to the ethernet switch, to get an understanding of what it would be useful for. The Fathom-X is just there as an indicative tether interface, since that’s the most likely configuration for people wanting to expand an existing vehicle
To confirm, I can then replace the Fathom X with the fibre to copper convertor?
Assuming the “copper” in your “fibre to copper” converter is an ethernet connection, yes, although be aware that our ethernet switch can only support 100 Mbps of ethernet speed.
That said, that seems to be how you described your current config:
so maybe you’re asking about something else?
In general, an ethernet switch allows multiple ethernet connections to be connected as a local network. The main unique features of our switch are that it’s sized to mount directly over a Fathom-X (which is convenient for people who already have a Fathom-X), and on ports 1 and 5 it has both an RJ45 connector and a JST-GH 4-pin connector, while ports 2, 3, and 4 have just a JST-GH 4-pin connector.
If those features aren’t important or valuable to you it may be worth checking out some of the other options from BotBlox, in case they’re even better suited to your application
The idea is to use an RPi that communicates with the ethernet switch along with the other networkable devices. The copper to fibre converter also connects to the ethernet switch and the output is a fibre optic tether to the top side.
I am using this configuration however the RPi is currently a Mega but I’m running into restrictions with the Mega. I would like to use the new BlueOS or ArduPilot / ArduRover. Do you believe this can be done?
That connection setup seems fine.
BlueOS runs on a Raspberry Pi, but you’ll need a flight controller board as well (connected to the Raspberry Pi) if you want to run an ArduPilot firmware (that link is to the ones Blue Robotics support for ArduSub).
In our vehicles the Raspberry Pi is an onboard computer that handles video streaming, communications with the autopilot, and interfacing with additional sensors and actuators (e.g. our Ping family of sonar devices, and other serial devices and the like that aren’t already supported in ArduPilot firmware and/or are best handled outside the autopilot).
This reference gives a general idea of what connects to where, and this shows how connections were routed with our old Companion software. Our current vehicles now use our Navigator board instead of a Pixhawk, and BlueOS instead of Companion, but we don’t yet have a similar block diagram for the new setup.